Business

APP, APRIL say they are
open for inquiry

Two of Indonesia’s paper giants, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings (APRIL), say they welcome any inquiry into their forest management practices following a recent move by entertainment giant Walt Disney Company to stop using paper products from irresponsibly harvested timber.

APP and APRIL, which account for about 80 percent of Indonesia’s total pulp and paper production, said that they would
be open for examination both by Disney and its international environmental organization partner, the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), to prove whether its pulp and paper production contributed to deforestation.

RAN research raised concerns about Disney’s supply chain connections to APP and APRIL and ongoing deforestation.

“We are willing to provide any information that they need and open for their visits,” APP’s corporate affairs and communication managing director Hendra Gunawan told reporters after meeting Industry Minister MS Hidayat at the ministry’s office.

Disney should have conducted its own study on APP’s operations as the basis for its new policy instead of using information from another party, he added.

Earlier in this month, Disney announced that it would eliminate consumption of paper from unwanted sources, including illegally harvested woods and high-value conservation areas, maximize recycled content and promote the use of wood fiber from sources approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Disney’s new paper policy will have a significant impact on Indonesia, where rainforests are still cut down for the raw
materials for pulp and paper production, according to RAN executive director Rebecca Tarbotton. RAN started to engage with Disney in 2010 after lab tests showed its children books were printed with fibers sourced from Indonesia.

Kusnan Rahmin, the president director of APRIL Indonesia, said that his firm had also invited Disney’s representatives to review its sustainable forest management practices, which would be a learning opportunity for both organizations in support of developing a responsible paper industry in Indonesia.

“We are disappointed with Disney’s consultation process, which it said sought input from stakeholders throughout the supply chain, but did not include any approach to or request for information from APRIL, one of the largest pulp and paper producers in the world,” Kusnan told The Jakarta Post in a statement.

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